Leading up to the release of Deerhunter’s seventh long player, Fading Frontier, Bradford Cox revealed a “concept map,” drawing together some influences on the group’s latest work. Amongst the musical clues are influences as disparate as Laurie Spiegel, Pharoah Sanders, Caetano Veloso, REM, Al Green and Tom Petty. He also lists the Weeping Blue Atlas Cedar plant (a gothic and evocative creature), the Bergamot essential oil (noted for its uplifting and relaxing effects), Chrome Yellow (with its color akin to the sun), and volatile organic compounds (more specifically that found within that universally recognized new car smell). He twice links, under different codenames, a link to eight hours of peaceful synth pads and rainforest ambience.

And he lists the devastating and impactful accident late last year – in which he was hit by a car – an event that looms largely over this new work. He lists his rescue dog Faulkner, a new friend and companion who seems to bring Cox both cheer and hope, a theme that also illuminates the record. And he lists Chilean poet Vicente Huidobro, an artist whose prose, vision and literary notion of Creationism (an idea that a poem be created for the sake of itself – that is, not to praise another thing, not to please the reader, not even to be understood by its own author) seem to influence Cox profoundly.


In 1962, a young left-handed guitarist from Texas named Barbara Lynn Ozen penned a song called “You’ll Lose a Good Thing.” More than 50 years later, the song continues to resonate with audiences: It was a chart topping hit when released and was featured in John Waters’ camp ‘80s flick Hairspray, extending its influence beyond the cult of soul aficionados who’ve long treasured it. It’s impossible not to be drawn in by Lynn’s plaintive, bared soul intensity, which she developed on two albums for Jaime and one for Atlantic – 1968’s Here Is Barbara Lynn, which was reissued by Light in the Attic Records in 2014.

In the early ‘70s, she turned her focus to raising her children, but continued playing, eventually resuming an active tour schedule and releasing new music, including 2000’s Hot Night Tonight, which featured some hip-hop touches by her son Bachelor Wise. Though Lynn’s spent the past couple months dealing with the death of her mother, Mildred Richard, who passed away in August at 93, she recently took the stage triumphantly at the Ponderosa Stomp festival in New Orleans. Below, the busy 73-year-old spoke to Aquarium Drunkard about her career, keeping up with modern pop, and her beautiful custom guitar.

Barbara Lynn :: Until Then I’ll Suffer

Aquarium Drunkard: Did you have fun playing at the Ponderosa Stomp?

Barbara Lynn: Oh boy, did I. You step out on that stage and see all the people…it makes you feel so great. What’s happened [recently] with the loss of my mother, seeing them, it just motivated me more to go on out there. Do your show, girl! That made it all so much better.

AD: Condolences on the loss of your mother.

Barbara Lynn: I had a good dream about her last night. We’d go everywhere together. I had other singers calling her “my dear,” because they would her me calling her “mother, dear.” B.B., Stevie, Smokey, Gladys. They all called her “dear.”

AD: As a young girl, what drew you to the electric guitar?

Barbara Lynn: I started with an Arthur Godfrey ukulele. That’s how I got started: on a little ukulele. I would hear music on the radio… I realized I wanted to play electric guitar when I’d see other guitarists playing. My mother bought me a guitar. I think my first guitar was a Gibson. Seeing people like B.B. and Elvis Presley…that really got into me.

AD: You were inspired watching them?

Barbara Lynn: Yeah. I had been playing the keyboard, but I thought it was so very common seeing a young lady sing at the piano. So I thought, “I want to play something odd.” Something I felt I could make money at. And I made money at it, too! I really did. [Laughs]

IMG_1271The album opens with Charles Mingus sputtering a percussive motif with one hand while the other riffs out an arabesque fantasia. There’s a duality present here, a tension of opposites. A fixed pitch struggles with an ecstatic melody and the battleground is rhythm. This gives way to rich, rolling chords, which develop into a strange waltz that hums along in Mingus’ “leaky faucet” time. The piece unfolds like a dreamlike tremor, a sort of musical fingerprint of the artist’s unconscious, and is aptly titled “Myself When I Am Real.” In the liner notes, Mingus tells Nat Hentoff, perhaps the only jazz critic he could ever stand, “I go into a kind of trance when I’m playing this kind of number. I remember that when we were recording this one, I noticed suddenly I didn’t seem to be breathing.”

Charles Mingus :: Myself When I Am Real

Aside from its breath-taking beauty, Mingus Plays Piano is a remarkable document in that it is Charles Mingus’ only solo record and he doesn’t even play the bass. He tables his virtuoso upright skills entirely for the instrument on which he composed. The album is an intimate portrait that reveals Mingus’ process and practice—not only his command of musical ideas but also his deep fluency and broad imagination. The material is rich and style expansive, however there’s playfulness to this LP, an understated, casual mood, like he’s jamming in your kitchen. Recorded in a single session on July 30, 1963, it’s an odd and often overlooked piece in the Mingus catalogue that contrasts and compliments his intricately orchestrated and technically challenging works of that time. Long out of print, SF archival label Superior Viaduct remastered and reissued this subtle masterpiece earlier this year.

Mingus Plays Piano originally was released on the heels of The Black Saint And The Sinner Lady, a brilliantly orchestrated, album length composition performed by an eleven piece band of frequent Mingus collaborators. The Black Saint was a career highlight, but the year leading up to that success was a tumultuous one. In 1962, Mingus toured heavily, and for his band’s residencies in NYC, he experimented with hiring a bassist and playing piano himself. He agreed to record a live album with a big band iteration of his Jazz Workshop for United Artists. Rushed preparations for this maximalist composition resulted in an incident where he punched his longtime trombonist Jimmy Knepper in the mouth. The 31-piece band’s one night stand at Town Hall was sloppy, and Mingus raged as concertgoers walked out and demanded a refund. After that disastrous performance, Mingus was exhausted, had gained a lot of weight, and suffered from painful ulcers. His wife Judy had just delivered a stillborn baby girl. The couple retreated to the Bay Area where Farwell Taylor, Mingus’ old beatnik-guru friend, straightened him out with a weeklong juice cleanse.


Our weekly two hour show on SIRIUS/XMU, channel 35, can now be heard twice, every Friday – Noon EST with an encore broadcast at Midnight EST.

SIRIUS 407: Jean Michel Bernard – Générique Stephane ++ Disappears – Gone Completely ++ Ought – Beautiful Blue Sky ++ Ty Segall – Music For A Film ++ Suicide – Dream Baby Dream ++ Liliput – Die Matrosen ++ The Mekons – Where Were You? ++ Ought – Money Changes Everything ++ Fugazi – Lusty Scripps ++ Mission of Burrma – New Disco ++ Gary Numan – M.E. ++ The Soft Moon – Total Decay ++ Gary Numan – Metal ++ The Clash – Overpowered By Funk ++ Tom Tom Club – L’Elephant ++ The Fall – C.R.E.E.P. ++ Pure X – Twisted Mirror ++ Deerhunter – Snakeskin ++ Broadcast – Long Was The Year (Black Session) ++ Broadcast – Where Youth And Laughter Go (Black Session) ++ Broadcast – Message From Home (Black Session) ++ Broadcast – Echo’s Answer (Black Session) ++ Broadcast – Dead The Long Year (Black Session) ++ Broadcast – Look Outside (Black Session) ++ Broadcast – Papercuts (Black Session) ++ Broadcast – Lights Out (Black Session) ++ Broadcast – Hammer Without A Master (Black Session) ++ Dungen – Franks Kaktus

*Listen for free, online, with the SIRIUS three day trial — just submit an email address and they will send you a password.

It’s all too easy to hang your Stetson on the wince inducing tag that is ‘all-star band’. But when your rich rail yard is comprised of veterans of the Chris Robinson Brotherhood, Ryan Adams’ Cardinals, Further and the Tyde it’s often best to listen for the whistle and jump. Yet this is a super group unlike countless others. Brent Rademaker, Tom Sanford and Neal Casal all previously played together in the psychedelic country rock band Beachwood Sparks, and act here as the proverbial steam engine behind GospelbeacH, along with Watson Twins’ stalwarts Kip Boardman and Jason Soda. The breezy tunes of band’s debut, Pacific Surf Line, waft through the coastal air as swirling Hammond organ, walking bass lines and smokin’ guitar mingle with lush, lived-in vocal harmonies. As the aural waves break and the tide recedes we’re rewarded with songs celebrating California’s frontier spirit and the cornucopia of friends and adventures that come with a life largely spent on the road. Over the span of 40 minutes, one sun kissed cut after another radiate brightly as the band barrels down the rocky coastline into the ethers of steam, salt, fog and grass. words / d norsen


A funny thing happens toward the end of “Cowards Starve,” the second song on Detroit post-punk quartet Protomartyr’s third album, The Agent Intellect. Singer Joe Casey delivers a weird, cutting line, as a synth buzzes in the distance: “I’m gonna tear that mountain down/I’m gonna turn it out/and go out in style.” And then guitarist Greg Ahee, drummer Alex Leonard, and bassist Scott Davidson lock into a tight, surging break, not unlike the silvery sound of early U2 or New Order, and the song shifts from a bleak rumination on “a weed-sick man in the throes of a bummer” to something cresting and furiously righteous. “I’m going out in style,” Casey repeats, deadpan. “I’m going out in style.”

protomartyrThe gnarled rock of The Agent Intellect covers a lot of ground. The Pope shows up, visiting the Silverdome in 1987. The devil’s there too, along with digital demons, racist gangs, and kings (of France and of pizza). Casey writes scenes filled with Detroit specifics — the eyes of “the queen of legal ads” Joumana Kayrouz, nights at his go-to bar Jumbo’s, Outer Dr. and 6 — but he also writes about universal themes. In these tightly coiled songs, the internet makes things weird, old bodies deteriorate, and salvation eludes desperate seekers. But it’s not all bleak. Love lives on even after lovers die. Scales fall from eyes. With his bandmates churning elegiac riffs behind him, Casey sings/speaks/shouts dour lines like “There’s no use being sad about it,” until he twists them into resonate and cautiously hopeful sentiments.

In advance of the album’s release Friday, October 9th, we phoned Casey to discuss Tinder, white privilege, religion, and emoting “a little bit.”

Aquarium Drunkard: I want to ask you about “Boyce or Boice.” In light of recent internet news, I couldn’t read the lyrics “your secret lovers/exist as numbers” without thinking of the Ashley Madison hack.

Joe Casey: I like to say that I predicted that through song. I saw an episode of 20/20 or something about a catfish that ended with murder. You just kind of realize that the internet is this big, vast thing, and everybody’s on it, just nerds talking about music or lonely people looking for love. I had some friends getting into Tinder, and it was weird seeing potentially life changing events reduced down to swiping left or right, reduced down to ones and zeroes.

AD: I don’t want to get completely hung up on the Ashley Madison thing —

JC: You got caught, right? Is that what you’re trying to say? [laughs]

AD: Yeah, it’s really ruined my life. [Laughs] As more information about that hack has come out, it’s become clear most people trying to cheat on their partners weren’t interacting with other people. It was already shitty, sad, and pathetic, and it just got more so. It points to the root loneliness at the root of everything, which is illuminated and made clearer by the internet.

JC: It reminds me of almost a science fiction notion. Like Minority Report, where you’re guilty of this crime before you’ve done it. Like this is a honeypot that was designed and you fell in it. Your basest desires have been revealed to be a sham.

If you search for “Boyce or Boice,” there’s a website about how to get demons out of your computer. It’s a cheesy, early ‘90s kind of website…it says something like, “The demons in your computer are called Boyce or Boice, and if your computer isn’t working or your printer isn’t working, just say ‘Get out Boice, get out of my computer.’”

I was like, holy shit, what is this? I don’t know how the fuck the internet works, and I think most people that use it don’t know how it works, so it becomes this mythical thing that’s taken over your life in a sense. It has this old-timey religious vibe to it.

Protomartyr :: Dope Cloud

You’re not going to want to skip this one. Muscle Shoals disco funk rarity from 1982. Or rather, five minutes and twenty one seconds of raw space funk r&b from the deep South.

Gene Boyd :: Thought Of You Today (Edit)


“My whole life, I heard music in the air, beautiful music. I’ve been involved in supernatural things, spoken with spirits. I have heard an orchestra up in the air. I know I’ve heard it.”—Paul Montgomery

Originally released via Folkways Records in 1974, The Montgomery Movement was faithfully reissued last year via Chicago’s Numero Group. Soul groove from Florida helmed by two blind musicians and teenage rhythm section. Funk’s answer to the Five Blind Boys of Alabama.

The Montgomery Express :: Montgomery Movement


Yeah, speaking of nasty . . . Songs Volume 1 — a 2013 compilation wrangling 7 tracks from the unreleased cassette archives of Detroit musician Dwight Sykes. Originally recorded in his home studio, L.U.S.T. Productions between 1980-1990. Step into the life zone…

Dwight Sykes :: Bye
Dwight Sykes :: In The Life Zone